April 24, 2017
On February 16th, thirty-two educators came together to take a closer look at the Nebraska English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards. Crystal Hurt led the group through the unwrapping process in which the teachers were able to take a closer look at the skills, concepts, levels of rigor, and modalities for all ten ELP standards. Afterward, teachers broke in groups and looked closely at specific grade level bands. Each of the 10 standards are broken down into five different descriptors showing what is expected of students across the proficiency levels for that grade. Teachers were given time to look at the progressions of each standard, and discuss how this may impact their work with English Learners (ELs).
In the afternoon, we shifted focus to one specific group on English Learners: Newcomers. Jamie Garner from ESU 15 shared English Language Development (ELD) resources that are available for teachers. Teachers then selected a topic using the Oxford Picture Dictionary, Second Edition App as a reference. They began the process of building units that would be appropriate to use with Newcomers and would align to the Nebraska ELP standards. The goal will be to continue to develop these units, so teachers have materials available when newcomers enroll in a district. There is a high need for language acquisition materials that align to state standards, especially at the secondary level.
We hope that this process will continue. Building systematic English acquisition curriculum that aligns with the standards is not quick or easy work. Another work day has been scheduled on June 29 and teachers interested can register on ODIE.
-by Theresa Ritta-Olson, Teaching and Learning Coordinator